INEC rules out further extension of PVCs connection beyond Jan. 29

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ruled out further extending collection date of the Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) by registered persons beyond the current deadline of January 29.

INEC PVCs

The collection exercise had been moved to the various wards and registration centres before returning to its previous points at the 774 local government area head offices across the country.

The exercise was initially scheduled to end on January22 but was extended to January 29 for PVCs to be collected at the local government area head offices by registrants.

Making the confirmation, weekend, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara State, Malam Attahiru Madami, reaffirmed that the electoral body will not extend the collection date of PVCs beyond January 29.

Madami who was fielding questions on the level readiness of the commission in the state ahead of the polls, said the clarification had become necessary following demands from several quarters for the extension of the deadline for the collection of the PVCs.

According to Madami, the reason for INEC’s inability to extend the date further is for the electoral body to have enough time to execute other exercises in the build-up to the elections.

“INEC is not going to extend the collection of PVCs because we’re going to be involved in other critical areas of the election, where we need to print out the number of voters in each polling units.

“And we need to give this to the political parties before the election so that we will get the statistics of everyone that has registered at each polling unit, and then they’ll strategize on how to campaign before the election on the 25th of February,” he noted.

He recalled that the collection of PVCs was recently extended by seven days. Instead of ending on January 22, 2023, it was extended to continue until January 29, 2023.

Speaking further, on the 2023 polls, Madami expressed confidence in the accuracy of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and the critical role the new technology is going to play in the coming and subsequent elections, making reference to the recent off-season elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states.

“We have tested out BVAS in Anambra election: the BVAS was 92 per cent.

“In Ekiti state election, the BVAS was 96 per cent. In Osun state election, it was scored 98 per cent. But you know we’re dealing with electronics; we don’t want to take chances.

“In our meeting with the leadership of INEC we were told that we need to test the BVAS before the main election so that we’ll be able to address any challenge before the election.

“We were told by the national body that we should go to our respective states and we should pick two local government areas in each senatorial zone in the country in order to do what we call a mock accreditation; it will be done in the presence of the Press, the security agencies and the political parties.

“In Kwara state, the commission picked Asa and Ilorin West for central. It picked Ekiti and Irepodun in the South. And in the North it picked Pategi and Moro,” he explained.

Madami assured that the new technology will make the upcoming election the best in the history of the country, as it will make rigging almost impossible.

“2023 election will be the best election Nigeria ever had because BVAS has taken rigging to the mud; it will be reduced to the minimum.”

While noting that a fully charged BVAS machine can last up to 48 hours, Madami dismissed the possibility of power outage becoming a stumbling block to the election, as claimed by political stakeholders, including chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The BVAS is an upgrade to the card reader. The card reader is only used to check the fingerprints.

“Now the BVAS doesn’t only check the fingerprints, it also checks the facials too.

“If one fails both the fingerprints and facial recognition test, the electoral law permits the INEC to allow you to try it three times and after the three trials and the person couldn’t be identified as the owner of the card, then he or she would not be allowed to vote,” he further explained.

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